Big Read (Bulgarian)

This is one of the 280 lists we use to generate our main The Greatest Books list.

  • Under the Yoke by Ivan Vazov

    "Under the Yoke" is a historical novel set during the April Uprising in Bulgaria in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire. It presents a vivid portrayal of the events leading up to the uprising, the rebellion itself, and its tragic aftermath, through the eyes of the inhabitants of a small Bulgarian town. The novel explores themes of patriotism, sacrifice, love, and the struggle for freedom, providing a detailed and realistic depiction of the period.

  • Time Of Parting by Anton Donchev

    The novel is a historical drama set in the 17th century in the Rhodope Mountains, exploring the cultural and religious conflict between the Christian Bulgarians and the Ottoman Empire. It follows the story of a Bulgarian village facing the threat of Islamization, as the Ottoman authorities impose a conversion campaign. The narrative delves into the choices and struggles of the villagers, particularly the character of the village leader, who must navigate between resistance and survival. The book examines themes of identity, faith, and the complexities of coexistence during a time of oppressive rule and societal upheaval.

  • Tobacco by Dimitar Dimov

    The book in question is a historical novel set in the early 20th century, exploring the lives of characters involved in the tobacco industry in Bulgaria. It delves into the personal and political turmoil of the time, focusing on the struggles of the working class and the manipulations of the wealthy elite. The narrative intertwines love, betrayal, and ambition, as it portrays the harsh realities of labor exploitation and the social upheavals leading up to World War II. Through its vivid characters and rich descriptions, the novel offers a critical look at the impact of capitalism and the quest for power on individuals and society.

  • The Iron Candlestick by Dimitar Talev

    The book is a historical novel set in the early 20th century, focusing on the struggles of the Bulgarian people under Ottoman rule. It follows the life of a young Bulgarian boy from his childhood to his involvement in the national liberation movement. The narrative weaves personal and political threads, depicting the boy's growth amidst the backdrop of cultural oppression, resistance, and the quest for national identity. The story is a poignant exploration of the human spirit and the fight for freedom, showcasing the resilience of a community striving to preserve its heritage and autonomy against the odds.

  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    A young prince from a tiny asteroid embarks on a journey across the universe, visiting various planets and meeting their strange inhabitants. Along the way, he learns about the follies and absurdities of the adult world, the nature of friendship, and the importance of retaining a childlike wonder and curiosity. His journey eventually leads him to Earth, where he befriends a fox and learns about love and loss before finally returning to his asteroid.

  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

    This novel is a complex narrative that weaves together three distinct yet intertwined stories. The first story is set in 1930s Moscow and follows the devil and his entourage as they wreak havoc on the city's literary elite. The second story is a historical narrative about Pontius Pilate and his role in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The third story is a love story between the titular Master, a writer who has been driven to madness by the criticism of his work, and his devoted lover, Margarita. The novel is a satirical critique of Soviet society, particularly the literary establishment, and its treatment of artists. It also explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the nature of good and evil.

  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

    This epic high-fantasy novel centers around a modest hobbit who is entrusted with the task of destroying a powerful ring that could enable the dark lord to conquer the world. Accompanied by a diverse group of companions, the hobbit embarks on a perilous journey across Middle-earth, battling evil forces and facing numerous challenges. The narrative, rich in mythology and complex themes of good versus evil, friendship, and heroism, has had a profound influence on the fantasy genre.

  • Osadeni Dushi by Dimitar Dimov

    The novel is a poignant exploration of the human condition, set against the backdrop of a tuberculosis sanatorium in the mountains of pre-World War II Spain. It delves into the lives of the patients and staff within the sanatorium, weaving a complex tapestry of love, betrayal, and philosophical introspection. The narrative focuses on the intense and tragic love affair between a disenchanted monk and a passionate, free-spirited woman, both seeking meaning and redemption amidst the despair of their illness. Through their story, the novel examines themes of morality, existential anguish, and the struggle for spiritual and emotional liberation.

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    This novel is a multi-generational epic that follows the lives of the Trask and Hamilton families in the Salinas Valley in California. The story is deeply rooted in biblical allegory, particularly the tale of Cain and Abel, as it explores themes of love, guilt, freedom, and the inherent good and evil in human nature. The narrative provides a profound, complex portrayal of family and individual struggles with morality and love, while also reflecting on the social changes affecting America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    A young sailor, unjustly accused of treason, is imprisoned without trial in a grim fortress. After a daring escape, he uncovers a hidden treasure and transforms himself into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo. He then sets out to exact revenge on those who wronged him, using his newfound power and influence. Throughout his journey, he grapples with questions about justice, vengeance, and whether ultimate power can ultimately corrupt.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

    This comedic science fiction novel follows the intergalactic adventures of an unwitting human, Arthur Dent, who is rescued just before Earth's destruction by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for a galactic travel guide. Together, they hitch a ride on a stolen spaceship, encountering a range of bizarre characters, including a depressed robot and a two-headed ex-president of the galaxy. Through a series of satirical and absurd escapades, the book explores themes of existentialism, bureaucracy, and the absurdity of life, all while poking fun at the science fiction genre and offering witty commentary on the human condition.

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    This novel is a multi-generational saga that focuses on the Buendía family, who founded the fictional town of Macondo. It explores themes of love, loss, family, and the cyclical nature of history. The story is filled with magical realism, blending the supernatural with the ordinary, as it chronicles the family's experiences, including civil war, marriages, births, and deaths. The book is renowned for its narrative style and its exploration of solitude, fate, and the inevitability of repetition in history.

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Set in early 19th-century England, this classic novel revolves around the lives of the Bennet family, particularly the five unmarried daughters. The narrative explores themes of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage within the society of the landed gentry. It follows the romantic entanglements of Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest daughter, who is intelligent, lively, and quick-witted, and her tumultuous relationship with the proud, wealthy, and seemingly aloof Mr. Darcy. Their story unfolds as they navigate societal expectations, personal misunderstandings, and their own pride and prejudice.

  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era, this novel follows the life of a young Southern belle, who is known for her beauty and charm. Her life takes a turn when she is forced to make drastic changes to survive the war and its aftermath. The story revolves around her struggle to maintain her family's plantation and her complicated love life, especially her unrequited love for a married man, and her tumultuous relationship with a roguish blockade runner.

  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

    The book tells the story of Pippi Longstocking, a young girl with superhuman strength who lives alone in a colorful house in a small Swedish village. With her pet monkey and horse, Pippi embarks on a series of humorous and often absurd adventures, defying societal norms and adult authority with her unconventional wisdom and moral code. Despite her wild antics, Pippi's kindness, generosity, and courage make her a beloved figure in her community.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    A young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago dreams of finding a worldly treasure and sets off on a journey across the Egyptian desert in search of it. Along the way, he encounters a series of characters who impart wisdom and help guide his spiritual journey. The novel explores themes of destiny, personal legend, and the interconnectedness of all things in the universe. The boy learns that true wealth comes not from material possessions, but from self-discovery and attaining one's "Personal Legend".

  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    A young, impoverished former student in Saint Petersburg, Russia, formulates a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker to redistribute her wealth among the needy. However, after carrying out the act, he is consumed by guilt and paranoia, leading to a psychological battle within himself. As he grapples with his actions, he also navigates complex relationships with a variety of characters, including a virtuous prostitute, his sister, and a relentless detective. The narrative explores themes of morality, redemption, and the psychological impacts of crime.

  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    The book is a satirical critique of military bureaucracy and the illogical nature of war, set during World War II. The story follows a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier stationed in Italy, who is trying to maintain his sanity while fulfilling his service requirements so that he can go home. The novel explores the absurdity of war and military life through the experiences of the protagonist, who discovers that a bureaucratic rule, the "Catch-22", makes it impossible for him to escape his dangerous situation. The more he tries to avoid his military assignments, the deeper he gets sucked into the irrational world of military rule.

  • Bai Ganyo by Aleko Konstantinov

    "Bai Ganyo" is a satirical novel that follows the eponymous protagonist, a comically boorish Bulgarian rose-oil merchant, as he travels through various European cities. The book humorously critiques the cultural misunderstandings and faux pas that Bai Ganyo commits, which serve as a metaphor for the broader social and political foibles of Bulgarians during the post-liberation period from Ottoman rule. Through a series of vignettes, the protagonist's adventures expose the clash between traditional Bulgarian ways and modern European society, ultimately offering a sharp commentary on the challenges of cultural integration and the preservation of national identity in the face of globalization.

  • Extracts From Notes On The Bulgarian Uprisings by Zahari Stoyanov

    The book is a seminal historical account that provides a detailed chronicle of the Bulgarian uprisings against Ottoman rule in the 19th century. Through a compilation of personal observations, interviews, and documents, the narrative vividly portrays the struggles, sacrifices, and heroism of the Bulgarian revolutionaries. It serves as both a tribute to the national liberation movement and a meticulous record of the events leading up to the eventual liberation of Bulgaria, offering an invaluable perspective on the country's fight for independence and the broader context of Balkan history during this tumultuous period.

  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

    Set in 17th century France, the novel follows the adventures of a young man who leaves home to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He befriends three of the most daring musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and together, they navigate political intrigue, love affairs, and duels. Their main enemies are the powerful Cardinal Richelieu and the beautiful but treacherous Milady, who will stop at nothing to bring them down.

  • Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

    Set in a dystopian future, the novel presents a society under the total control of a totalitarian regime, led by the omnipresent Big Brother. The protagonist, a low-ranking member of 'the Party', begins to question the regime and falls in love with a woman, an act of rebellion in a world where independent thought, dissent, and love are prohibited. The novel explores themes of surveillance, censorship, and the manipulation of truth.

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

    Set in 19th-century Russia, this novel revolves around the life of Anna Karenina, a high-society woman who, dissatisfied with her loveless marriage, embarks on a passionate affair with a charming officer named Count Vronsky. This scandalous affair leads to her social downfall, while parallel to this, the novel also explores the rural life and struggles of Levin, a landowner who seeks the meaning of life and true happiness. The book explores themes such as love, marriage, fidelity, societal norms, and the human quest for happiness.

  • The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

    "The Good Soldier Svejk" is a satirical novel set during World War I, following the story of a Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army. Svejk, the protagonist, is a simple-minded, good-natured man who is frequently arrested for bungling jobs due to his apparent idiocy. Despite his constant run-ins with authority, Svejk manages to maintain his cheerful disposition and even takes advantage of his perceived stupidity to manipulate the system. The book offers a humorous and critical perspective on the absurdity of war and the incompetence of military bureaucracy.

  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A Milne

    This classic children's tale follows the charming adventures of a lovable, honey-loving bear named Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. With his companions, including the timid Piglet, the gloomy Eeyore, the energetic Tigger, and the wise Owl, Pooh navigates through various situations and dilemmas, often with humorous and heartwarming results. The book is a celebration of friendship, imagination, and the simple joys of life.

  • King Rat by James Clavell

    Set in a Japanese POW camp during World War II, the narrative revolves around the lives of Western prisoners who struggle to survive under harsh conditions. The story focuses on an American corporal, known for his savvy trading and black market dealings within the camp, earning him the nickname "King Rat." His entrepreneurial spirit and cunning allow him to rise above the desperate circumstances, but his actions and morality are called into question as he forms complex relationships with fellow prisoners. The book explores themes of survival, power dynamics, and the moral ambiguities of life in captivity, as alliances are formed and tested in the face of adversity and the fight to stay alive.

  • The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

    "The Thorn Birds" is a sweeping family saga that spans three generations of the Cleary family, set against the backdrop of the Australian outback. It focuses on the forbidden love between the beautiful Meggie Cleary and the family's priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart. The novel explores themes of love, religion, and ambition, as Meggie and Ralph struggle with their feelings for each other and the choices they must make.

  • Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K Rowling

    The story follows a young boy, Harry Potter, who learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents' mysterious deaths, the dark wizard who wants to kill him, and the magical stone that holds immense power.

  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

    Set in a wealthy Italian monastery in the 14th century, the novel follows a Franciscan friar and his young apprentice as they investigate a series of mysterious deaths within the monastery. As they navigate the labyrinthine library and decipher cryptic manuscripts, they uncover a complex plot involving forbidden books, secret societies, and the Inquisition. The novel is a blend of historical fiction, mystery, and philosophical exploration, delving into themes of truth, knowledge, and the power of the written word.

  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    This classic novel explores the complex, passionate, and troubled relationship between four brothers and their father in 19th century Russia. The narrative delves into the themes of faith, doubt, morality, and redemption, as each brother grapples with personal dilemmas and family conflicts. The story culminates in a dramatic trial following a murder, which serves as a microcosm of the moral and philosophical struggles faced by each character, and by extension, humanity itself.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    The novel follows the life of a handsome young man who, after having his portrait painted, is upset to realize that the painting will remain beautiful while he ages. After expressing a wish that the painting would age instead of him, he is shocked to find that his wish comes true. As he indulges in a life of hedonism and immoral acts, his portrait becomes increasingly grotesque, reflecting the damage his actions have on his soul. The story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of vanity, selfishness, and the pursuit of pleasure without regard for consequences.

  • The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf, Evgeniy Petrov

    In this satirical novel, a former nobleman and a con artist form an unlikely partnership in pursuit of hidden treasure. After the Russian Revolution, fortunes are overturned, and the nobleman learns that his family jewels were sewn into one of the twelve chairs from a dining room set. As the chairs have been scattered by the new Soviet regime, the duo embarks on a wild chase across the USSR, encountering a colorful cast of characters and navigating the absurdities of the communist system. Their quest for wealth is a humorous reflection on human greed and the ironies of fate in a society undergoing radical change.

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

    Set in the backdrop of the Napoleonic era, the novel presents a panorama of Russian society and its descent into the chaos of war. It follows the interconnected lives of five aristocratic families, their struggles, romances, and personal journeys through the tumultuous period of history. The narrative explores themes of love, war, and the meaning of life, as it weaves together historical events with the personal stories of its characters.

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

    Set in a psychiatric hospital in Oregon, the novel is narrated by a half-Native American patient known as Chief Bromden, who pretends to be deaf and mute. The story follows the arrival of a new patient, a boisterous, rebellious man who challenges the oppressive and dehumanizing system of the hospital, particularly the tyrannical Nurse Ratched. The book explores themes of individuality, rebellion, and the misuse of power, ultimately leading to a tragic conclusion.

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

    The novel follows the story of a teenager named Holden Caulfield, who has just been expelled from his prep school. The narrative unfolds over the course of three days, during which Holden experiences various forms of alienation and his mental state continues to unravel. He criticizes the adult world as "phony" and struggles with his own transition into adulthood. The book is a profound exploration of teenage rebellion, alienation, and the loss of innocence.

  • The Bells Of Prespa by Dimitar Talev

    The novel is a historical saga set in the early 20th century, focusing on the lives and struggles of the Macedonian people under Ottoman rule. It weaves a rich tapestry of characters, both fictional and real, as they navigate the complexities of national identity, cultural heritage, and political upheaval. The narrative delves into the personal and collective challenges faced by the inhabitants of the Prespa region, highlighting their resilience and the impact of historical events on their daily lives. Through the symbolic resonance of the bells, the story captures the essence of a community's enduring spirit amidst the tides of change and the quest for freedom and self-determination.

  • Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov

    "Natural Novel" is a thought-provoking and imaginative work that seamlessly weaves together various narratives and perspectives. The book explores the concept of storytelling and its power to shape our understanding of reality. Through a blend of fiction, memoir, and philosophical musings, the author delves into the complexities of human existence, the interconnectedness of life, and the search for meaning in a world filled with both beauty and tragedy. With its poetic prose and profound insights, "Natural Novel" invites readers to contemplate the boundaries between truth and fiction, ultimately challenging conventional notions of storytelling.

  • Wolf Hunt by Ivaylo Petrov

    "Wolf Hunt" is a historical novel set in the early 20th century in a rural Bulgarian village, where the lives of peasants are depicted with stark realism. The narrative revolves around a group of villagers who are tasked with hunting down a wolf that has been terrorizing their livestock. As the hunt progresses, the story delves into the complex relationships and social dynamics within the community, revealing the struggles, hardships, and resilience of the human spirit in the face of poverty, oppression, and the changing tides of history. The novel serves as a metaphor for the political and social upheavals of the time, exploring themes of survival, morality, and the human condition.

  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo

    The book revolves around the powerful Italian-American crime family of Don Vito Corleone. When the don's youngest son, Michael, reluctantly joins the mafia, he becomes involved in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. Although Michael tries to maintain a normal relationship with his wife, Kay, he is drawn deeper into the family business. The narrative follows the Corleone family's struggle to hold onto power in a rapidly changing world, as well as Michael's transformation from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss.

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

    This classic novel is a tale of love, revenge and social class set in the Yorkshire moors. It revolves around the intense, complex relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an orphan adopted by Catherine's father. Despite their deep affection for each other, Catherine marries Edgar Linton, a wealthy neighbor, leading Heathcliff to seek revenge on the two families. The story unfolds over two generations, reflecting the consequences of their choices and the destructive power of obsessive love.

  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    This novel follows the story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza, who fall passionately in love in their youth. However, Fermina eventually marries a wealthy doctor, leaving Florentino heartbroken. Despite this, Florentino remains devoted to Fermina for over fifty years, patiently waiting for her husband's death to have another chance at her love. The story is set against the backdrop of a cholera epidemic, serving as a metaphor for the transformative power of love and the destructive power of obsession.

  • Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz

    Set in ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero, "Quo Vadis" follows the love story of a young Christian woman Lygia and a Roman patrician, Marcus Vinicius. As their relationship blossoms, they must navigate the dangerous political climate of the time, marked by Nero's tyranny and the growing influence of Christianity. The novel provides a vivid depiction of the clash between pagan Rome and the early Christian church, culminating in the Great Fire of Rome and subsequent persecution of Christians.

  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

    Set in early 19th-century France, the narrative follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his journey towards redemption. The story touches upon the nature of law and grace, and elaborates upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. It is known for its vivid and relatable characters, and its exploration of societal and moral issues.

  • Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

    In this novel, a young intellectual who is immersed in books and ideas embarks on a journey with a passionate and adventurous older man named Zorba. The two men have contrasting personalities, which leads to a series of philosophical discussions and adventures. The story is set in Crete and explores themes of life, death, friendship, love, and the struggle between the physical and intellectual aspects of existence. Zorba's zest for life and his fearlessness in the face of death inspire the young man to embrace a more physical and spontaneous way of living.

  • Winnetou by Karl May

    The book is a tale of the American Wild West, where the protagonist, a German immigrant and greenhorn, embarks on a life-changing adventure. He forms an unlikely friendship with a noble Native American chief, Winnetou, and together they navigate the perils of the frontier. Their bond transcends cultural barriers and they fight side by side against various enemies, including unscrupulous treasure hunters and hostile tribes. Through their adventures, the protagonist matures into a skilled frontiersman, embodying the ideals of courage, honor, and respect for the natural world and its indigenous peoples.

  • Arch Of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque

    Set against the backdrop of the looming Second World War in Paris, the narrative follows a German refugee and surgeon who is living without proper documents after escaping from Nazi Germany. Haunted by his past and the horrors he has witnessed, he navigates the dark streets of Paris, performing surgeries in a clandestine practice for other displaced immigrants. Amidst his struggle for survival and identity, he engages in a passionate but tumultuous love affair with an Italian woman, which brings temporary solace but ultimately leads to greater despair. The story is a poignant exploration of exile, loss, and the human desire for connection and meaning in the face of relentless adversity.

  • Shogun by James Clavell

    Set in the 17th century, this novel follows an English sailor who becomes a samurai in feudal Japan. The protagonist, shipwrecked and stranded in a foreign land, must navigate the complex political and cultural landscape of the time, filled with war, intrigue, honor, and love. The story is rich in historical detail, providing a vivid depiction of Japanese society during the Tokugawa Shogunate era.

  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

    This classic novel follows the adventures of a man who, driven mad by reading too many chivalric romances, decides to become a knight-errant and roam the world righting wrongs under the name Don Quixote. Accompanied by his loyal squire, Sancho Panza, he battles windmills he believes to be giants and champions the virtuous lady Dulcinea, who is in reality a simple peasant girl. The book is a richly layered critique of the popular literature of Cervantes' time and a profound exploration of reality and illusion, madness and sanity.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K Rowling

    In the final installment of this popular series, the protagonist and his friends decide to leave their school to complete the mission left to them by their late headmaster - to destroy the remaining pieces of the antagonist's soul, hidden in various objects. As they journey through the wizarding world, they uncover the truth about the antagonist's past and the legend of the Deathly Hallows. Amidst the escalating war, they are captured and narrowly escape, leading to the ultimate battle at their school where many lives are lost. The protagonist learns he must sacrifice himself to truly defeat the antagonist, but is given a second chance at life and finally triumphs, ending the war. The story concludes with a glimpse into the peaceful future they have all earned.

  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

    This thriller novel follows symbologist Robert Langdon and cryptographer Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The murder leads them to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, revealing a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years. The mystery involves a conspiracy within the Catholic Church and threatens to overturn the foundations of Christianity.

  • Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

    This novel follows three intellectual friends who work at a small publishing house. As a joke, they start inventing a conspiracy theory about a secret society that has been manipulating world events for centuries. However, as they delve deeper into their own fabrication, they begin to lose sight of what's real and what's not. Their lives take a dangerous turn when actual secret societies believe they hold the key to a universal secret and will stop at nothing to obtain it.

  • Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot

    The book is a touching narrative about an orphaned boy who, after being mistreated by his adoptive parents, runs away and embarks on a series of adventures across France. Throughout his journey, he faces hardships and meets various people who help him grow and learn valuable life lessons. His resilience and kindness win him friends and a sense of family, despite his lack of traditional roots. The story is a testament to the human spirit and the quest for identity, belonging, and the meaning of home.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    The novel follows the life of Jane Eyre, an orphan who is mistreated by her relatives and sent to a charity school. As she grows up, Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she falls in love with the brooding and mysterious Mr. Rochester. However, she soon learns of a dark secret in his past that threatens their future together. The story is a profound exploration of a woman's self-discovery and her struggle for independence and love in a rigid Victorian society.

  • The Little Golden Calf by Evgeniy Petrov, Ilya Ilf

    The book is a satirical novel that follows the adventures of a charming con artist in the Soviet Union during the 1920s. The protagonist, with a combination of wit, luck, and audacity, navigates through the absurdities of the Soviet bureaucracy and the remnants of the pre-revolutionary elite in pursuit of a mythical treasure. His journey is marked by a series of humorous episodes that expose the contradictions and ironies of the early Soviet society, ultimately offering a sharp critique of human greed and the folly of the era's political and social systems.

  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

    "The House of the Spirits" is a multi-generational saga that explores the lives of the Trueba family, set against the backdrop of political upheaval in an unnamed Latin American country. The narrative is driven by the family's strong and magical women, including clairvoyant Clara and her granddaughter Alba. The story spans over three generations, weaving together personal, social, and political threads, and is rich in elements of magical realism. The novel explores themes of love, violence, social class, and the struggle for power.

  • Perfume by Patrick Suskind

    Set in 18th-century France, this novel tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a man born with an extraordinary sense of smell but no personal scent of his own. He becomes an apprentice to a prominent perfumer and learns to create the world's most intoxicating perfumes. However, his obsession with capturing the perfect scent leads him down a dark path, as he begins to kill young women to extract their scent. The book is a chilling exploration of obsession, identity, and the power of scent.

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Set in the summer of 1922, the novel follows the life of a young and mysterious millionaire, his extravagant lifestyle in Long Island, and his obsessive love for a beautiful former debutante. As the story unfolds, the millionaire's dark secrets and the corrupt reality of the American dream during the Jazz Age are revealed. The narrative is a critique of the hedonistic excess and moral decay of the era, ultimately leading to tragic consequences.

  • The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    The book follows the story of a kind-hearted and naive protagonist who returns to Russia from a Swiss sanatorium, where he was treated for a severe epileptic condition. Despite his pure intentions, he gets entangled in a web of love, greed, and manipulation, leading to tragic consequences. The novel explores themes of innocence, love, sacrifice, and societal expectations, offering a profound critique of Russian society during the 19th century.

  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

    Set during the Great Depression, the novel explores the lives of a community of people living in a sardine canning district on the coast of California. The narrative revolves around a group of unemployed yet resourceful men who are trying to throw a party for their friend, a marine biologist. The book is a series of vignettes, giving a detailed and humorous insight into the lives of the people in this district, their struggles, their joys, and their simple pleasures.

  • Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

    Three Men in a Boat is a comedic account of a two-week boating holiday on the Thames River from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back to Kingston. The story follows three friends and a dog who decide to take a trip to cure their hypochondriac symptoms. The journey is filled with humorous incidents, historical digressions, and comical misunderstandings. Despite their initial intentions, the trio's holiday turns into a series of misadventures, providing a light-hearted commentary on the English upper-middle class at the end of the 19th century.

  • Антихрист by Emilian Stanev

    The book in question is a historical novel that delves into the turbulent times of the Second Bulgarian Empire, focusing on the life of a fictional anti-hero who embodies the contradictions and struggles of his era. Set against the backdrop of political upheaval and religious conflict, the protagonist's journey is marked by his quest for power and his complex relationship with morality, faith, and his own identity. As he navigates a world rife with betrayal and intrigue, the novel explores themes of ambition, human nature, and the societal forces that shape individuals during times of crisis.

  • Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Set in the French Riviera in the 1920s, the novel traces the tragic tale of a young psychiatrist, his beautiful wife, and the drama that unfolds amongst their circle of wealthy expatriate friends. The psychiatrist's wife suffers from mental illness, which leads to his own downfall as he struggles to keep his marriage intact and maintain his professional reputation. The narrative explores themes of wealth, love, desire, and the destructive power of obsession, painting a haunting portrait of the dark side of the glamorous Jazz Age.

  • Дъщерята на Калояна by Fani Popova

    The book is a historical novel set in the 13th century, revolving around the life of a fictional daughter of the real Bulgarian Tsar Kaloyan. It weaves a tale of intrigue, power, and personal growth, as the protagonist navigates the complexities of court life, political alliances, and familial duties. Amidst the backdrop of medieval Bulgaria, the story explores themes of love, betrayal, and the struggle for influence in a time where women's roles were often limited by societal expectations. The protagonist's journey is one of self-discovery and resilience, as she seeks to assert her place in a world dominated by men and to honor the legacy of her father.

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

    The book is a philosophical novel that explores the protagonist's journey across the United States on a motorcycle with his son, during which he delves into questions about life, philosophy, and the nature of "Quality". The narrative is interspersed with flashbacks to the protagonist's life before the journey, including his time as a university professor and his struggle with mental illness. The book aims to reconcile the dichotomy between classical and romantic understandings of the world, ultimately arguing for a holistic approach that integrates both perspectives.

  • Нощем с белите коне by Pavel Vezhinov

    The book is a poignant exploration of human emotions and the complexities of life during a difficult historical period. It follows the journey of a man who, amidst the turmoil of war, finds solace and a sense of purpose in caring for a group of white horses. These majestic creatures become a symbol of purity and hope in a world overshadowed by conflict and despair. As the protagonist navigates the challenges of survival and the moral dilemmas posed by the war, the narrative delves into themes of love, sacrifice, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

  • Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw

    The novel chronicles the divergent paths of two brothers from a working-class family over several decades, starting in the years following World War II. The elder brother amasses wealth and power by building a successful business empire, embodying the American Dream, while the younger brother struggles with personal demons and a life of hardship, often living on the fringes of society. Their contrasting fortunes and the choices they make shape not only their own destinies but also the lives of those around them, painting a complex portrait of family dynamics, ambition, and the pursuit of success in mid-20th century America.

  • Ян Бибиян by Elin Pelin

    The book is a whimsical children's tale about a mischievous young boy with a heart of gold who embarks on a series of fantastical adventures. Known for his playful antics and boundless imagination, the protagonist navigates a world where he interacts with both humans and magical creatures. His journey is filled with humor and moral lessons, as he often finds himself in trouble but also discovers the importance of friendship, bravery, and kindness. Through his escapades, the boy becomes a beloved figure to readers, embodying the spirit of childhood wonder and the joy of living in a world where anything is possible.

  • Emil I Lönneberga by Astrid Lindgren

    The book is a charming tale of a mischievous young boy living on a farm in the Swedish countryside at the turn of the 20th century. Despite his good intentions, Emil's curiosity and adventurous spirit often lead to trouble, resulting in his frequent confinement to the woodshed, where he whittles wooden figures as a pastime. Through a series of humorous and heartwarming escapades, Emil endears himself to his family and the local community, showcasing the innocence of childhood and the love and forgiveness that bind a family together.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    This novel follows the story of a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantastical world full of peculiar creatures and bizarre experiences. As she navigates through this strange land, she encounters a series of nonsensical events, including a tea party with a Mad Hatter, a pool of tears, and a trial over stolen tarts. The book is renowned for its playful use of language, logic, and its exploration of the boundaries of reality.

  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

    "The Neverending Story" is a captivating fantasy novel that follows the adventures of a young boy named Bastian. When he stumbles upon a mysterious book, he becomes engrossed in the magical world of Fantastica, where he must embark on a perilous quest to save the realm from destruction. As Bastian's imagination intertwines with reality, he discovers the power of storytelling and the importance of believing in oneself. This enchanting tale explores themes of courage, friendship, and the boundless nature of imagination.

  • White Fang by Jack London

    The novel tells the story of a wolf-dog hybrid named White Fang, who endures harsh conditions in the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush. The narrative follows White Fang's journey from a life in the wild to domestication. He experiences cruelty and brutality from both nature and humans, but eventually finds kindness and compassion with a man who rescues him from a dog-fighting ring. The book explores themes of survival, nature versus nurture, and redemption.

  • Target Land by Svoboda Bachvarova

    "Target Land" is a gripping novel that delves into the complexities of human relationships and the psychological impacts of trauma. Set against the backdrop of a society grappling with the aftermath of a devastating event, the narrative follows the journey of a protagonist who must navigate a world filled with uncertainty, danger, and moral ambiguity. As the character is drawn into a web of intrigue and conspiracy, they are forced to confront their own past and the haunting memories that shape their present. The story weaves together themes of survival, identity, and the quest for redemption, culminating in a poignant exploration of the resilience of the human spirit.

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

    The book chronicles the mischievous adventures of a young boy living on the Mississippi River in the mid-19th century. The protagonist, a clever and imaginative boy, often finds himself in trouble for his pranks and daydreams. His escapades range from his romance with a young girl, his search for buried treasure, his attendance at his own funeral, and his witnessing of a murder. The narrative captures the essence of childhood and the societal rules of the time.

  • Creation by Gore Vidal

    The novel is a sweeping historical epic that takes readers on a journey through the ancient world, as seen through the eyes of a fictional Persian diplomat. The protagonist, who serves under King Darius and later his successor Xerxes, engages in philosophical and theological debates with some of the era's most influential figures, including Confucius, Socrates, and the Buddha. His travels and experiences provide a panoramic view of the political and cultural landscapes of the time, exploring the nature of power, belief, and the human condition. The book blends real historical events and personages with a richly imagined narrative, offering a unique perspective on a formative period in human history.

  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

    In this thriller, the protagonist, a Harvard symbologist, is summoned to Washington D.C. to decipher a complex code linked to the Freemasons. His mentor's kidnapping propels him on a frantic chase through the hidden chambers, temples, and tunnels of the U.S. Capitol. Alongside a cryptologist, he unravels clues that must be solved to prevent a national catastrophe. The narrative weaves together secret societies, ancient wisdom, and a controversial scientific theory, culminating in a revelation that challenges the protagonist's understanding of the world.

  • Ilinden by Dimitar Talev

    The novel is a historical narrative set in the early 20th century, focusing on the struggles of the Macedonian people under Ottoman rule. It vividly portrays the events leading up to the Ilinden Uprising, a pivotal moment in the fight for Macedonian independence. Through the lives of its characters, the book explores themes of national identity, resistance, and the human cost of revolution. The narrative weaves personal stories with the broader socio-political context, offering a poignant look at the aspirations and sacrifices of a people yearning for freedom.

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    In a dystopian future where books are banned and burned by the government to prevent dissenting ideas, a fireman named Guy Montag, whose job is to burn books, begins to question the society he serves. After a series of events, including meeting a free-thinking teenager and witnessing a woman choosing to die with her books, Montag begins to secretly collect and read books, leading to his eventual rebellion against the oppressive regime. The narrative serves as a critique of censorship, conformity, and the dangers of an illiterate society.

  • 18% Gray by Zachary Karabashliev

    In this gripping novel, a man finds himself at a crossroads in life, grappling with the loss of his wife and the disintegration of his marriage. In a spontaneous attempt to escape his pain and find meaning, he embarks on a transformative journey across America with a stolen stash of marijuana and a camera, capturing moments of beauty and introspection. As he travels from the East to the West Coast, his road trip becomes a quest for redemption and self-discovery, revealing the complexities of love, memory, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Karlson On The Roof by Astrid Lindgren

    The book revolves around the adventures of a mischievous, self-confident man named Karlson who lives in a small house on the roof of an apartment building. He befriends a young boy named Smidge, who lives in the building below. Together, they embark on various escapades filled with fun and humor, often involving Karlson's quirky inventions and his love for tasty treats. Despite the skepticism of adults, the bond between Karlson and Smidge grows, showcasing a world where the fantastical and the everyday merge through the eyes of a child and his peculiar, flying friend.

  • The Gadfly by Ethel Lilian Voynich

    The novel centers around a young British man who, disillusioned by the corruption and moral hypocrisy he witnesses within the Catholic Church, becomes a radical revolutionary in 19th-century Italy. As he engages in the struggle for Italian unification and independence from Austrian domination, he adopts the moniker "The Gadfly" and becomes notorious for his incisive and biting critiques against the establishment. His personal quest for justice and freedom is complicated by a tangled web of relationships, betrayals, and a haunting secret from his past that profoundly impacts his life and the lives of those around him. The story is a blend of adventure, political intrigue, and personal turmoil, set against the backdrop of historical events.

  • Гласовете ви чувам by Dimitar Talev

    The book is a poignant exploration of the human condition, set against the backdrop of a small town in Bulgaria during the early 20th century. It delves into the lives of several characters, each struggling with their own personal dilemmas and the oppressive political climate of the time. Through a series of interconnected stories, the narrative examines themes of love, betrayal, and the quest for freedom, all while capturing the cultural and social nuances of Bulgarian society. The characters' innermost thoughts and feelings are brought to the forefront, revealing the universal longing for understanding and the need to be heard amidst the tumultuous changes of the era.

  • The Black Obelisk by Erich Maria Remarque

    Set in the turmoil of post-World War I Germany, the novel follows the life of a young veteran struggling to find his place in a society grappling with economic hardship and political unrest. As he works for a monument company, selling stone markers to the living and the dead, he encounters a diverse cast of characters, each coping with the scars of the past and the uncertainties of the future in their own way. Through his interactions and experiences, the protagonist reflects on the absurdities of life, the nature of humanity, and the search for meaning amidst the chaos of a world that has been irrevocably changed by war.

  • I, Claudius by Robert Graves

    This historical novel is a first-person narrative told from the perspective of the Roman Emperor Claudius, who was considered an unlikely ruler due to his physical ailments and perceived lack of intelligence. The story covers the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula before Claudius unexpectedly becomes emperor. The narrative provides a critical look at the corruption, violence, and political machinations of the Roman Empire, offering a unique perspective on history.

  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    The novel tells the story of a young German soldier, Paul Bäumer, and his experiences during World War I. The narrative explores the physical and emotional toll of war, the camaraderie between soldiers, and the disillusionment of a generation thrown into a brutal conflict. The protagonist and his friends grapple with survival, fear, and the loss of innocence, providing a stark and poignant critique of the futility and destructiveness of war.

  • Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

    Set in the summer of 1928 in the idyllic town of Green Town, Illinois, the novel captures the experiences of a twelve-year-old boy as he explores the joys and mysteries of childhood. Through a series of vignettes, the protagonist navigates the adventures and discoveries of youth, from the excitement of new running shoes to the depths of fear and loss. The narrative weaves a tapestry of small-town life, encapsulating the bittersweet transition from the innocence of childhood to the complexities of adulthood, all while celebrating the magic of everyday moments and the poignant passage of time.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    Set in the racially charged South during the Depression, the novel follows a young girl and her older brother as they navigate their small town's societal norms and prejudices. Their father, a lawyer, is appointed to defend a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman, forcing the children to confront the harsh realities of racism and injustice. The story explores themes of morality, innocence, and the loss of innocence through the eyes of the young protagonists.

  • Самуил by Dimitar Talev

    The book is a historical novel that delves into the life and times of a legendary ruler in the early 11th century, focusing on the struggles and resilience of his people against the Byzantine Empire. It portrays the ruler's efforts to maintain the independence and integrity of his kingdom amidst political intrigue, warfare, and cultural challenges. The narrative weaves a rich tapestry of medieval Balkan history, highlighting the ruler's leadership, the valor of his warriors, and the tragic fate that befalls them as they confront the overwhelming forces of a powerful adversary. Through its vivid depiction of historical events and characters, the novel explores themes of patriotism, sacrifice, and the enduring human spirit.

  • Die Söhne Der Großen Bärin by Liselotte Welskopf-Henrich

    The book is a historical novel that follows the life of a Native American warrior from the Lenni Lenape tribe during the 18th century. It explores his struggles to defend his people's way of life against the encroachment of European settlers and the challenges posed by changing times. The protagonist's journey is marked by personal growth, cultural conflict, and the quest for justice and dignity for his tribe. Through his eyes, the reader experiences the deep spiritual connection the indigenous people have with the land and the tragic consequences of colonization.

  • Солунският чудотворец by Fani Popova-Mutafova

    The book is a historical novel set in the early 20th century, revolving around the life of a revered monk known for his miraculous healing powers in the city of Thessaloniki. The narrative delves into the complexities of the Balkan Wars and the socio-political turmoil of the era, as seen through the eyes of various characters whose lives intersect with the monk's. As they seek solace and miracles, the story explores themes of faith, hope, and the human struggle, painting a vivid picture of the period's cultural and historical landscape.

  • Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque

    Set in the interwar period in Germany, the novel revolves around the deep bond of friendship between three World War I veterans struggling to adapt to civilian life amidst the economic and social turmoil of Weimar Republic. The trio copes with their trauma and disillusionment by sticking together and seeking solace in their shared experiences. Their camaraderie is further enriched and complicated by the arrival of a beautiful, spirited woman, who becomes intimately entwined with their lives. As they navigate the challenges of love, loss, and the scars of war, the story poignantly captures the fragility of hope and the enduring spirit of friendship against the backdrop of a society on the brink of monumental change.

  • Патиланско царство by Ран Босилек

    The book is a charming collection of children's poems that delve into the whimsical world of mischievous creatures known as "Patilanci," who live in a fantastical kingdom. Through playful and imaginative verse, the poems explore the various antics and adventures of these playful beings, capturing the innocence and wonder of childhood. The work is a staple in its country of origin, beloved for its linguistic creativity and its ability to capture the hearts of young readers with its endearing characters and their delightful realm.

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K Rowling

    In the sixth installment of the series, the protagonist returns for his sixth year at a magical school, where he excels in potions class with the help of an old textbook once belonging to the mysterious "Half-Blood Prince". As he delves deeper into his enemy's past through private lessons with the headmaster, he learns more about the Dark wizard's history and his own destiny. Amidst this, the school is no longer the safe haven it once was, and danger lurks within the castle walls. The year ends with a devastating loss, setting the stage for the final showdown.

  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac

    This novel follows the story of a young man and his friend as they embark on a series of cross-country road trips across America during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The protagonist, driven by a desire for freedom and a quest for identity, encounters a series of eccentric characters and experiences the highs and lows of the Beat Generation. The narrative is a testament to the restlessness of youth and the allure of adventure, underscored by themes of jazz, poetry, and drug use.

  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

    Set in 15th-century Paris, this novel follows the story of Quasimodo, a deformed and hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre-Dame Cathedral, who is shunned due to his appearance. Despite his physical deformities, Quasimodo falls in love with the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda. However, his love is unrequited as she is in love with a handsome soldier. The novel explores themes of love, rejection, and the human struggle against fate and societal norms.

  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

    Set against the backdrop of the Prague Spring period of Czechoslovak history, the novel explores the philosophical concept of Nietzsche's eternal return through the intertwined lives of four characters: a womanizing surgeon, his intellectual wife, his naïve mistress, and her stoic lover. The narrative delves into their personal struggles with lightness and heaviness, freedom and fate, love and betrayal, and the complexities of human relationships, all while offering a profound meditation on the nature of existence and the paradoxes of life.

  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

    "Siddhartha" is a novel about the spiritual journey of a young man named Siddhartha during the time of Gautama Buddha. Born into an Indian Brahmin family, Siddhartha rejects his privileged life to seek spiritual enlightenment. His journey takes him through periods of harsh asceticism, sensual indulgence, material wealth, and finally, to the simple life of a ferryman on a river where he finds peace and wisdom. The book explores themes of self-discovery, spiritual quest, and the desire for a meaningful life.

  • Avalanche by Blaga Dimitrova

    The novel explores the psychological and emotional landscapes of its characters against the backdrop of a natural disaster. It delves into the lives of a group of people trapped in a mountain hotel by an avalanche, examining their personal stories, relationships, and the societal structures that define them. As they confront the possibility of death and the breakdown of social order, the characters are forced to reevaluate their lives, revealing the complex interplay of human nature and the forces beyond our control. The narrative weaves together themes of love, betrayal, and the quest for meaning, all while questioning the very essence of existence and human connection amidst the chaos of the avalanche.

  • Before I Was Born And After My Death by Ivailo Petrov

    "Before I Was Born And After My Death" is a contemplative exploration of existence, weaving together philosophical musings and personal reflections. The narrative delves into the profound questions of life and the enigma of what comes before birth and after death. Through a series of introspective passages, the author invites readers to ponder the cyclical nature of life, the interconnectedness of all beings, and the mysteries that transcend human understanding. The book serves as a meditative journey, encouraging a deeper consideration of one's place in the grand tapestry of the universe and the timeless continuum that frames our ephemeral human experience.

  • A Ballad for Georg Henig by Viktor Paskov

    "A Ballad for Georg Henig" is a narrative that explores the life of a Jewish craftsman and violin maker, Georg Henig, in the 18th century. The story is set in Bulgaria and delves into the historical events and cultural dynamics of the time, including the Ottoman rule and the social status of Jews. The protagonist's life is filled with love, loss, and the quest for artistic perfection, all against the backdrop of a society marked by religious and ethnic tensions.

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    The novel tells the story of Humbert Humbert, a man with a disturbing obsession for young girls, or "nymphets" as he calls them. His obsession leads him to engage in a manipulative and destructive relationship with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Lolita. The narrative is a controversial exploration of manipulation, obsession, and unreliable narration, as Humbert attempts to justify his actions and feelings throughout the story.

About this list

Bulgaria, 100 Books

This list is the Bulgarian version of the BBC Big Read.

Big Reading is a campaign broadcast on Bulgarian National Television , with the aim of polling Bulgarians about their favorite novels. The show is based on the BBC 's Great Reading English format . It started in Bulgaria on October 5 , 2008 and ended on March 22, 2009 . Voting is done by e-mail, via the Internet , by telephone or by letter . Initially, 100 novels were selected ( December 21 , 2008), of which the first 12 were subsequently ranked.

Added 2 months ago.

How Good is this List?

This list has a weight of 74%. To learn more about what this means please visit the Rankings page.

Here is a list of what is decreasing the importance of this list:

  • Voters: not critics, authors, or experts, but the books on the list were curated by critics/experts
  • Voters: are mostly from a single country/location

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